Children’s Artwork and Treasured Mementos

Has the fridge door disappeared under a gallery of masterpieces?

Blue, fridge
What your fridge should look like!

Do you feel guilty if you dispose of a masterpiece which has come home from school?

As we start the beginning of the year, many parents will be thinking about all the items and artwork that will be coming home from school over the course of the year and trying to work out – “How do I keep this” or “Where do I store this”?

Art covered fridge
What most fridges actually look like.

We treasure the work done by our children in school and want to retain the precious memories attached to them.  The problem is – there tends to be a LOT of it and unless you have an unlimited storage vault – this can become a problem.

Below are some suggestions for ways to keep the treasure and minimise the clutter:

  1. Frame It – Together with your child, decide on which pieces of work are the best examples of what they have done during the year – and frame them.  Create a gallery wall – in their room or playroom to display their work.  This can be changed on a regular basis throughout the year – and you will have bragging rights in your home to the works of your budding artist.
  2. Digitise and Print It – Make a digital album of your child’s work by taking photos of each item as it comes home – together with a caption, grade and date of the piece.  There are a number of online resources that you can use – some of which specialise in school artwork (see: Artsonia / Artkive app / Canvsly / Artmykidmade).  You can create a digital photobook of your child’s artwork to have as a permanent reminder – companies that do this include: Ormsprintroom, qphoto and 24hourphotobooks (all South African companies).  You can do a book per year – or one which covers a couple of years.  These make great gifts for family members who live in another city or country.

    Digital resource collageVarious available online resources

  3. Archive-It – Archive storage boxes – if you want to go this route and have the available space, plastic storage containers (large enough for the biggest piece) can be purchased and labelled quite easily.  A nice exercise is to edit the number of pieces to be kept with your child before creating the label and year for storage.  Be sure to use a box that is not going to trap moisture – or you can include silica gel packets to prevent this.
  4. Post It – Another option is to turn holiday themed artwork into cards to send to family and friends locally or overseas – that way they can share the special creation with you.  If the artwork is 3-d – these can make great gifts for grandparents – who love having boasting rights.

Keep the whole mood of sorting and purging positive – you will find that a lot of memories from the past weeks and months are resurrected – and you will have a lot of laughs along the way.  Remember in the selection process that if everything is special, then nothing remains special.

Make this an end of term and end of year project before you go away or break for the holidays and you will come back home after the holidays to less stress before the beginning of each new term or  the new school year.

Look out for our next post on how to keep the morning rush to a minimum!